Art Full Text
ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM)
ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) is the only specialist bibliography available for the study of modern and contemporary art. It covers all art forms, including fine art, digital art, crafts, design and photography. It features full abstracts and indexing from art journals published from the late 1960s onwards. The database also incorporates book records, including those drawn from the collections of the Tate Library and the Bibliothèque Dominique Bozo, Musée LAM.

Art Index Retrospective
This archival database features high-quality indexing of historical literature on a variety of art topics from the years 1929 to 1984. Chronicling over half a century of art literature, it covers fine, decorative, and commercial art. Art Index Retrospective contains hundreds of titles from feature articles, interviews, film reviews, book reviews, bibliographies, exhibition listings, conference reports, anthologies, and editorials.
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
A comprehensive index of journal articles published worldwide from 1934 to the present on architectural design and history but coverage as well of real estate development, sports facilities, commercial buildings, city planning, urban design, environmental studies, historic preservation, landscape architecture, and archeology.
Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
Covers European and American art from late antiquity to the present. It indexes and abstracts books, conference proceedings and dissertations, exhibition and dealer's catalogs, and articles from more than 2,500 periodicals.  1973 - present*Please note that BHA has moved from the CSA platform to the Getty Research Institute.
Clara: Database of Women Artists  Authoritative information on 18,000 women visual artists of all time periods and nationalities. 
General OneFile
Current journal and news information in humanities, education, business, science, art, politics, economics, social sciences, law, health care, computers, technology and environmental issues.
JSTOR provides access to academic journals and primary sources in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.
Project Muse
Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 600+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.
ProQuest Research Library
From business and political science to literature and psychology, ProQuest Research Library™ provides one-stop access to a wide range of popular academic subjects. The database includes more than 5,060 titles—over 3,600 in full text—from 1971 forward. It features a highly-respected, diversified mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers.


Looking for books about drawing? Browse our stacks.  Here are a few suggested call number ranges:
NC50-266 History of drawing
NC703-725 General works
NC760-825 Special subjects
NC845-915 Graphic art materials
NC997-1003 Commercial art. Advertising art
NC1280-1284 Printed ephemera. Imagerie populaire
NC1300-1766 Pictorial humor, caricature, etc.
NC1800-1850 Posters

Be sure to check both the General Stacks and the Oversize section on the 5th floor of the library.

Contact Us

picture of Jennifer Richards
Fine Arts Librarian
(607) 274-1199

Search Argos

Primary Sources in Art History

Finding primary sources:
Think generally in terms of time period, region and style.  And remember that accounts from that time may have used different terms than what we use today.  For example, the Civil War was referred to as "War of the Rebellion" by the north, and "War for Southern Independence" by the south at the time. And keep in mind the spelling of names may vary.
Secondary sources are excellent sources in assisting your search for primary sources.  To find names of art critics, or theories of aesthetics, use an advanced search in the library's online catalog, then:
1. type in ART SOURCES
2. limit to SUBJECT

And try the subject heading:
Art Historiography

WorldCat  Find books on your topic from other libraries, then link to Interlibrary Loan to borrow them. If you use this option, make sure you allow enough time for the material to sent to you.

Bridget Bower, the College Archivist has created a guide to primary sources for additional help.


Whether you're writing a paper, or looking for artistic inspiration, below are a few subject headings useful for finding art-related material in our collection.
  • Art --study and teaching.
  • Drawing Or browse through the call number NC on the 5th Floor.
  • Painting This subject area narrows by country and time period.  For further help, talk to someone at the Research Help Desk
For Iconography, see: For Museum Studies, try:

Art by Region

In addition to the databases mentioned in this guide, there are a number art websites sorted by regions of the world:
All Regions:
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Timeline of Art History (Heilbrunn)
A chronological, geographical and thematic exploration of the history of art around the world, as illustrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection,
Includes chronological narratives, topical essays, and color illustrations of works of art. Cover 8000 B.C. to present.
Universes in Universe: Worlds of Art Covers visual arts from Africa, Asia, the Americas in the international art context.

Africa Asia
Asia Art Archive
The Asia Art Archive has been collecting material related to contemporary Asian art since 2000 and holds one of the most comprehensive collections of material in the field.
Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation carries out arts and cultural exchange programs to enhance mutual understanding among countries throughout the world
European Library
From the website: "Designed to meet the needs of the research community worldwide, our online portal offers quick and easy access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.Users can cross-search and reuse over 9,550,610 digital items and 103,420,869 bibliographic records. To facilitate further research, links are also provided to other websites in the Europeana group."To select a language, use this link:
European collection of cultural materials from museums, archives, libraries, and audio-visual collections such as the Rijksmuseum, the British Library, and the Louvre. Includes images, texts, sounds and videos.
Middle East
ABZU: A Guide to Information Related to the Study of the Ancient Near East on the Web
Abzu is a guide to networked open access data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean world.
North America
MOMA: Survey of Archives of Latino and Latin American Art
This website provides researchers with an overview of each archival collection surveyed and highlights their particular assets in order to facilitate access to materials and promote research on Latino art
South America